Arizona lists Brandon Dawkins, Khalil Tate as co-starting QBs
The Arizona Wildcats enter the 2017 season-opener against Northern Arizona with quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate listed as co-starters on their depth chart.
The two most experienced quarterbacks have the leg-up on freshmen Donavan Tate and Rhett Rodriguez, who are listed as co-backups.
Dawkins threw for 1,686 yards and completed 54 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and six picks in 2016. He added 944 yards rushing and 10 more scores on the ground.
But when Dawkins went down with an injury, coach Rich Rodriguez elected to burn Tate’s redshirt season, throwing him into the mix in the fifth game of the year against UCLA. The freshman threw for 243 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in spot appearances and added 237 rushing yards.
“It’ll start to clear up a little bit,” Rodriguez told the Tucson media Monday. “They’ve both gotten better. I think Brandon’s gotten a lot better. I think Khalil has been trying to close the gap and is still competing with it. It’ll clear up by the end of the week. I feel confident with both those guys.”
More expected, the other players listed as “OR” co-starters on offense are running backs Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor. Zach Green is listed as the backup.
“We really feel we have three starters there,” Rodriguez said at his Monday press conference.
Wilson, a senior, played in just five games due to ankle and knee injuries a season ago, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.
In his place, Taylor took over as a freshman and put together a 168-yard performance against Hawaii and a 97-yard game against Washington before a broken ankle ended his season.
Defensively, the Arizona depth chart only lists the MIKE linebacker position as up for grabs: that’s between senior Brandon Rutt and freshman Colin Schooler.
Additionally, redshirt junior Josh Pollack and freshman Lucas Havrisik are in competition at kicker.